Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Phillies 8, Rockies 7
2005-07-31 09:44
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Aaron Cook dug the Rockies a hole they couldn't get out of, even with a pair of Matt Holliday homers. The Colorado bullpen was really good (again), but even a rare 11-hit performance by the offense couldn't overcome Cook, who gave up 11 hits himself (and 7 earned runs) in four and a third. Did they rush him back? Does it matter?

Meanwhile, Dan O'Dowd looks stupid (surprise, surprise) as he ends up stuck with Larry Bigbie as the Boston deal falls apart. The Red Sox grabbed Jose Cruz, Jr. from the Diamondbacks so they don't want Bigbie even if they can't send Shoppach to Tampa Bay for Aubrey Huff. What does it say about O'Dowd that the Red Sox would rather work with Chuck LaMar, who's like a "South Park" character when it comes to negotiating trades (and I'm not just talking about the overextended run): "Han-LEY! Han-LEY! Han-LEY! Hanley."

The Rockies will try and create the illusion of progress by designating Desi Relaford for assignment (as they should have done in, oh, April) and calling up Omar Quintanilla. Make no mistake, though, if they don't move Bigbie before the deadline, this trade season has been a spectacular failure. The Rockies' shopping list was not iffy relief prospects, more tweener outfielders, and a second baseman. Not only haven't the Rockies gotten any of the pieces they needed (besides Quintanilla), but they burned off two of their best offseason trading chips in Byrnes and Chacon. The Rockies are going to be awful the rest of this year with the starting pitching they have, and they're going to be equally bad next year. No more second chances, Dan.

I want to believe the best about what the team is trying to do but the end result of their manuevering thus far strains credibility past its breaking point. This isn't Pittsburgh or Kansas City. The Rockies' attendance woes are their own fault and I fail to see how trading Preston Wilson,Shawn Chacon, and Eric Byrnes for buckets of dirt (thrifty dirt) gives them any chance whatsoever of improving the product on the field.

So, Oakland looks pretty good, huh? Think the Brewers have a shot at .500? What are the White Sox going to do in the wake of the Frank Thomas injury? There's too much good season left to waste much time thinking about Colorado baseball.

Update: For what it's worth, ESPN's Rumor Central (subscription required) says four or five other teams have an interest in Bigbie and he could still be traded before the deadline, which is in less than three hours.

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